McCall Research Group Illinois

Past Projects


Large Molecule Spectroscopy

We aim to collect a rotationally-resolved, cold, gas-phase spectrum of the infrared allowed vibrational band of buckminsterfullerene at ~8.4 micron (1185 cm-1).
Supersonic expansion discharge source

Supersonic Expansion Discharge Source

We are developing and characterizing a source of rotationally cold ions that couples a modulated DC discharge with a continuous supersonic expansion. This source will be used to acquire the vibrational spectra of astronomically important molecular ions.
Para H3+

Chemical Physics of H3+

H3+ is one of the most important ions in intersteallar chemistry. We study the nuclear spin dependence of the chemical physics of H3+, both its dissociative recombination rate and its reaction with H2.
Einzel lens


SCRIBES (Sensitive, Cooled, Resolved Ion BEam Spectroscopy) is a novel technique being developed in the McCall lab to acquire high-resolution vibrational spectra of astronomically important ions.
Liquid Hydrogen Cell

Raman Laser Development

We have performed measurements of the refractive index of solid para-hydrogen, and are using these measurements to develop a solid hydrogen Raman laser.

Past Astronomy Projects


Diffuse Interstellar Bands

Our group is working to solve the mystery of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands, a series of visible absorption lines that has been unidentified for 90 years.
Diffuse cloud

Astrochemistry of H3+

Our group uses astronomical observations of H3+ to constrain the cosmic ray ionization rate in diffuse clouds.

New Interstellar Molecules

A major motivation for the group's research is the discovery of new interstellar molecules. We want to use these molecules as probes of astrophysical conditions.